Context: Ursus, Warsaw
The site of my final year thesis project is in the district of Ursus, Warsaw – in particular within the 180 hectare site of the former Ursus Tractor Factory. The M.Arch programme were invited to Warsaw by an association of industrialists currently on site who wish to challenge current plans for a developer led speculative housing scheme by proposing alternatives that could allow the site to continue as a productive part of the city.
The first part of the project was the development of an Urban Strategy which I completed with a fellow student, Kostas Ipeirotis. This strategic vision forms the basis for the development of my building proposal – which is ongoing and due for completion in June 2013.
In February 2013, the Urban Strategy was presented as part of a symposium that the School of Architecture hosted in London. This symposium was the first step of the schools ongoing discussion regarding urban regeneration through re-industrialisation and aims to bring a wider group of academics, practitioners, activists and students into the dialogue.
URS.U.S Urban Synthesis – Suzanne O’Donovan + Kostas Ipeirotis
From diagnoses of issues and characteristics at a variety of scales (local, intermediate, global), URS.U.S Urban Synthesis places focus on a number of ‘meanwhile uses’ which are intended to provide a ‘quick and dirty’ intervention for the socio-spatial issues at the scale of the site, whilst working towards integrating or resolving larger scale issues. These meanwhile uses will allow buildings and in-between spaces to become inhabited and occupied, potentially acting as a catalyst for bringing about more long term change. The proposed meanwhile uses include an outdoor art gallery and festival, use of empty plots as allotments and for bioremediation and use of empty buildings and plots for enterprise incubators. Potential developments from this, for example, would be use of biomass (planting, sewage, waste) as biofuel for energy production with an output of clean water. The strategy aims to put in place a framework for catalysts that might ultimately lead to a more coherent, unified and synergetic Ursus. Where places of production and consumption are integral in everyday life, and where the people of the district can appreciate the rich heritage of the place and begin to form a vision of what the future for Ursus might be.
Some photos of the presentation with booklet and model of the ‘arts corridor’: